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How The Bachelorette’s Current Season Let Us All Down

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Since middle school, I have been a huge fan of “The Bachelor” franchise, and it’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Although it is mindless to watch, I still get addicted to every season. In the past, I’ve even made Bachelor brackets and competed against friends to guess the winner. 

With the lack of new content on TV, I was excited for a new season of “The Bachelorette” to occupy my time and watch with friends. Per usual, the commercials hyped this season up to be the “most dramatic season of The Bachelorette yet.” However, this season I couldn’t find myself getting hooked like I usually do.    

Back in March, when the new Bachelorette Clare Crawley was announced, I was already disappointed in the show’s choice. Ironically, Clare was the runner-up on the first season I watched, starring the infamous Juan Pablo Galavis as the Bachelor. To me, Clare seemed like a random choice, as if the producers were digging from the Bachelor archives. Since her first season six years ago, she has additionally appeared on two seasons of “Bachelor in Paradise” as well as “Bachelor: Winter Games.” In my opinion, she has had plenty of chances in the past, and it was time for a fresh face. I was hoping the producers would choose a contestant from a more recent season, especially one with a diverse background.

Throughout 24 seasons of “The Bachelor” and 15 seasons of “The Bachelorette,” there has only been one person of color as the lead, Bachelorette Rachel Lindsey. Given the current political climate, I was hoping the producer’s initial pick would be a diverse, progressive female. While Clare was older than all previous Bachelorettes, she fit the mold of a typical lead rather than the producers making a change. Despite this, I still decided to give the season a chance.

As the oldest Bachelorette thus far, I was expecting Clare to be mature and above the show’s typical catfights and drama. Yet she still participated in the usual antics of the show, encouraging her suitors to get undressed for strip dodgeball and make fun of each other at a comedy roast. In addition, Clare started off the show acting like she was all about girl power. Yet she was upset when men wouldn’t take the lead and ask her to speak on group dates. Why couldn’t she be the one to start a conversation with the men of her choosing?

The Bachelorette strip dodgeball
Photo by ABC / Craig Sjodin

The most serious problem this season faced was Clare’s fixation on frontrunner Dale. Because the season was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Clare was able to look up her contestants on social media before filming, although this is typically discouraged. As a result, she had a connection with Dale before the season even started. Rather than trying to get to know all the men, she was only focused on Dale, which prevented other guys from having a fair chance. Although Clare only gave Dale attention, she was upset her suitors seemed uninterested in her and complained about this throughout her time in the season. This behavior made her a rather annoying lead to watch, and it was difficult to root for her.  

In recent years, social media has been an increasing issue in the production of the show. Details are often spoiled before airing, contestants can meet each other before, and people often try to join the cast to get famous. This season reinforced these narratives, and this contributes to the show losing its old magic and sentiment. It seems like contestants are no longer able to form a truly genuine connection, due to vested interests to gain Instagram followers and sponsorships.  

Since Clare was head over heels for Dale, her time on the show was short-lived. The two got engaged within four weeks of the season, a record engagement for the show. As a result, Chris Harrison brought in a new Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams from Colton Underwood’s season of “The Bachelor.” In fact, Tayshia was my dream pick for Bachelorette before Clare was announced. As the show’s second black Bachelorette, Tayshia is a mature, diverse pick, and hopefully she will improve the season and address its shortcomings. Like many of my fellow Bachelor fans, I’m excited to see how her journey to find love plays out!

Jessie Chaiet

Northwestern '23

Jessie Chaiet is a senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, studying Journalism and Economics at Northwestern University. In her free time, she loves to go to the gym, keep up with the latest pop culture news and curate Spotify playlists.